Organizing Notes

Bruce Gagnon is coordinator of the Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space. He offers his own reflections on organizing and the state of America's declining empire....

My Photo
Location: Brunswick, ME, United States

The collapsing US military & economic empire is making Washington & NATO even more dangerous. US could not beat the Taliban but thinks it can take on China-Russia-Iran...a sign of psychopathology for sure. We must all do more to help stop this western corporate arrogance that puts the future generations lives in despair. @BruceKGagnon

Wednesday, June 19, 2024

German WW2 Nazi leaders went to work for US-NATO


Nazi Major General Reinhard Gehlen went to work for US-NATO after WW2


By Diana Johnstone

While the Russians and Anglo-Americans joined in condemning the very top Nazi leaders at the Nuremberg trials, denazification proceeded very differently in the respective zones occupied by the victorious powers.

In the Federal Republic established in the Western zones, very few officials, officers or judges were actually purged for their Nazi past.  Their official repentance centered on persecution of the Jews, expressed in monetary compensation to individual victims and especially to Israel.

While immediately after the war, the war itself was considered the major Nazi crime, over the years the impression spread through the West that the worst crime and even the primary purpose of Nazi rule had been the persecution of the Jews.  

The Holocaust, the Shoah were names with religious connotations that set it apart from the rest of history.  The Holocaust was the unpardonable crime, acknowledged by the Federal Republic so emphatically that it tended to erase all others. As for the war itself, Germans could easily consider it their own misfortune, since they lost, and limit their most heartfelt regret to that loss.

It was not Germans but the American occupiers who determined to create a new German army, the Bundeswehr, safely ensconced in an alliance under U.S. control.  Germans themselves had had enough. But the Americans were intent on solidifying their control of Western Europe through the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. 


NATO’s first secretary general, Lord Ismay – who had been Churchill’s chief military assistant during World War II – succinctly defined its mission: “to keep the Americans in, the Russians out, and the Germans down.”

The United States government wasted no time in selecting qualified Germans for their own alliance reversal. German experts who had gathered intelligence or planned military operations against the Soviet Union on behalf of the Third Reich were welcome to continue their professional activities, henceforth on behalf of Western liberal democracy.

This transformation is personified by Wehrmacht Major General Reinhard Gehlen, who had been head of military intelligence on the Eastern Front. In June 1946, U.S. occupation authorities established a new intelligence agency in Pullach, near Munich, employing former members of the German Army General Staff and headed by Gehlen, to spy on the Soviet bloc.  

The Gehlen Organization recruited agents among anti-communist East European émigré organizations, in close collaboration with the C.I.A. It employed hundreds of former Nazis.  It contributed to the domestic West German political scene by hunting down communists (the German Communist Party was banned).  

The Gehlen Organization’s activities were put under the authority of the Federal Republic government  in 1956 and absorbed into  the  Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND or Federal Intelligence Service), which Gehlen led until 1968.

In short, for decades, under U.S. occupation, the Federal Republic of Germany has fostered the structures of the Alliance Reversal, directed against Russia.  The old pretext was the threat of communism.  But Russia is no longer communist.  The Soviet Union surprisingly dissolved itself and turned to the West in search of lasting peace.  

In retrospect, it becomes crashingly clear that the “communist threat” was indeed only a pretext for great powers seeking more power. More land, more resources. 


The Nazi leader Adolf Hitler, like the Anglo-American liberals, looked at Russia in the way mountain-climbers proverbially look at mountains.  Why must you climb that mountain? Because it’s there. Because it’s too big, it has all that space and all those resources. And oh yes, we must defend “our values”.

It’s nothing new. The dynamic is deeply institutionalized.  It’s just the same old war, based on illusions, lies and manufactured hatred, leading us to greater disaster.  

Is it too late to stop?

~ Diana Johnstone was press secretary of the Green Group in the European Parliament from 1989 to 1996. In her latest book, Circle in the Darkness: Memoirs of a World Watcher (Clarity Press, 2020), she recounts key episodes in the transformation of the German Green Party from a peace to a war party. Her other books include Fools’ Crusade: Yugoslavia, NATO and Western Delusions (Pluto/Monthly Review) and in co-authorship with her father, Paul H. Johnstone, From MAD to Madness: Inside Pentagon Nuclear War Planning (Clarity Press). She can be reached at


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home